Written by Andrea Sison
Asian and Pacific Islander American Heritage Month is celebrated in the month of May. This is where we celebrate our different cultures, traditions, and the history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. This is the time where we recognize the contributions of Asians, Pacific Islanders, and Asian Americans in the United States. The month of May was chosen to commemorate the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants as well as to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad in which the majority of the workers were Chinese immigrants.
Since the month of Ramadan has come to an end, we would like to share what Ramadan and Eid Al-Fitr are. Ramadan is celebrated during the ninth month in the Islamic calendar, which is tied to moon phases. Ramadan starts with a crescent moon. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. This is a time for them to have spiritual-reflections, self-improvement, and devotion. Ramadan teaches self-control, self-discipline, sacrifice, and to have empathy for the less fortunate. This also teaches Muslims to perform generous acts such as donating to charities. Ramadan is the most sacred month of the year for Muslims as this is when Allah (God) gave the first chapter of the Quran to Prophet Mohammed. Eid Al-Fitr, also known as the “Festival of Breaking the Fast,” is celebrated at the end of Ramadan. This is traditionally celebrated for three days. Muslims would get together at the mosque for a prayer before spending the rest of the festivities with their family and friends. “Eid Mubarak” means “have a blessed Eid.” This is also a way for them to thank Allah (God) for helping them through the month of fasting. Muslims show their gratitude to Allah (God) by donating to charities. This is also a time for Muslims to forgive those that have wronged them.
Although I am not Muslim, I have friends who are, and being a part of ASA (Asian Student Association) and REACH helped me see and appreciate the diversity in the Asian community. I think learning about different traditions, even if it does not directly apply to me, is important because this helps me understand that the people that make up Asia have their own unique culture and traditions. This helps me appreciate it more and learn how to share it with others as well.